Carly Simon was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, joining the small percentage of women that make up the inductees.
She recently lost both of her sisters in the same week to cancer, and did not attend the Los Angeles ceremony. Instead, she shared a written message from her home in Martha’s Vineyard: “I am humbled, shocked, proud, over-achieved, under-qualified and singularly grateful to everyone with whom I really couldn’t be here.” The letter was read by Sara Bareilles, who also performed Simon’s James Bond theme, “Nobody Does It Better.”
Simon arrived on the scene in the early ’70s, quickly earning a name as a talented lyricist and arranger whose songs were considered exemplary reflections of the lives of independent women. Her 1971 self-titled solo debut included the Top 10 hit “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be,” which helped earn her a Grammy for Best New Artist. She quickly followed it up with 1971’s Anticipation, whose title track reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Then came 1972’s No Secrets, featuring Simon’s best-known hit, “You’re So Vain,” a track that would go on to become a widely cited influence for future female singer-songwriters like Taylor Swift.
An introductory video showcased Simon’s many signature songs, collaborations with James Taylor and Mick Jagger, but also her earlier work with her sibling Lucy Simon as the Simon Sisters. Swift and Melissa Etheridge were among those featured in the clip.
Simon continued recording albums throughout the late ’70s and into the ’80s. Her career experienced a revival when her 13th album, 1987’s Coming Around Again, peaked at No. 25 in the U.S. and netted airplay around the country. A year later, she wrote “Let the River Run” for the film Working Girl, a song that made Simon the first artist in history to win an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Grammy for a song composed and performed entirely by a single individual.
Simon has now joined the Rock Hall as one of its few female inductees. As of 2020, only 69 out of 888 Rock Hall inductees (that’s less than 8%) have been women. In 2021, the Rock Hall presented its most female-centric ballot to date with seven women nominees. Only three were inducted, the same number as this year.
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